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30 May 2017 Thermoelectric bolometers based on silicon membranes
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Proceedings Volume 10246, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VIII; 102460L (2017)
Event: SPIE Microtechnologies, 2017, Barcelona, Spain
State-of-the-art high performance IR sensing and imaging systems utilize highly expensive photodetector technology, which requires exotic and toxic materials and cooling. Cost-effective alternatives, uncooled bolometer detectors, are widely used in commercial long-wave IR (LWIR) systems. Compared to the cooled detectors they are much slower and have approximately an order of magnitude lower detectivity in the LWIR. We present uncooled bolometer technology which is foreseen to be capable of narrowing the gap between the cooled and uncooled technologies. The proposed technology is based on ultra-thin silicon membranes, the thermal conductivity and electrical properties of which can be controlled by membrane thickness and doping, respectively. The thermal signal is transduced into electric voltage using thermocouple consisting of highly-doped n and p type Si beams. Reducing the thickness of the Si membrane improves the performance (i.e. sensitivity and speed) as thermal conductivity and thermal mass of Si membrane decreases with decreasing thickness. Based on experimental data we estimate the performance of these uncooled thermoelectric bolometers.
© (2017) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Aapo Varpula, Andrey V. Timofeev, Andrey Shchepetov, Kestutis Grigoras, Jouni Ahopelto, and Mika Prunnila "Thermoelectric bolometers based on silicon membranes", Proc. SPIE 10246, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VIII, 102460L (30 May 2017);


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